Tuesday, March 24, 2009

News Site vs Blog

I have struggled with many things as I've been writing this blog over the last year. I am not a professional journalist. (I do have a Minor in English from Northern Michigan University to go with my BS in Social Science Economics, though. My affinity for parentheses drove my professors nuts too. So I like soliloquy - personal idiosyncrasies make life fun.)

I work full time (I am an insurance agent) and love to spend time with my three beautiful little pink Lions -- and of course one can't underplay time with Mrs. DetFan1979 either! Since my job does involve actually...well, working, I can't spend all my time writing about the Lions.

The biggest problem I've had, in the past, is running the line between reporting Lions news -- and analyzing it. While I would love to be the repository of all Lions news stories of the day, there are several sites that do that quite well already. I'm going to highlight a few, and then tell you why. All of them can be found in the links section on the right of this page.

Mlive.com has numerous articles by Tom "Killer" Kowalski, and Phil Zaroo does a good job of ferreting out Lions releated news on the web for the Highlight Reel.

Church of Schwartz does a summary of blog articles and some news pieces every day or two - focusing more on linking into Lions bloggers (such as myself) than running AP news lines.

Sean over at Pride of Detroit does a VERY good job of linking in to all of the pertinent Lions news of the day.

So why did I just spend half a blog pointing you to other sites? Because I will be doing a section in most blogs where I link to their (especially Pride's) news links for the day. While I'll still directly link stories, it will allow me to get you hooked into the current Detroit Lions news without taking up half the blog on going over what many of you have already read (or can read, if I link to it.)

I know -- I still haven't answered why. It has to do with who I am; or rather, who I am not. I am not a professional journalist. I am not a beat writer. I am not an insider. I have no super secret sources.

I am a blogger. What I enjoyed most when I started this blog -- and the reason I did so -- was the analysis. Providing insight and thoughts in a way that was different from the typical report AP news wire style that is so prevalent. Throw one new sentence or two onto the same press release or quotes, and call it a day.

I have strayed toward that way at times, and I want to get away from that. Rather, I am going to focus on getting back to what I do best -- talking intelligently about the Lions and Football. Not about what the press releases or stories may way -- but what they are not. What-IF-ing the IFseason, and breaking down the issues.

And of course, interaction with you -- my loyal readers. So while I may summarize the news, you can click a couple of links on the right, or as I hone in on a story in my commentary --- it will not be my primary focus. Making sense of the news is what I do best. Or nonsense of the news too! I'm good at both!

A big THANK YOU to everyone for sticking with me. We're all in this together -- through 0-16 and beyond. As this year's motto says "Lions 2009: Plug the holes in the dike!" or as Chief says: Lions fine in 2009 -- men in 2010 and beyond!

Football thought of the day? It's a question: If you were possibly the first LB to be taken #1 overall in 20+ years, and your maturity and professionalism along with your versatility and tenacity on the field is why, would you admit if you were or were not in contract negotiations with the Detroit Lions if they told you not to say a word?

Me either. So I think reports of Curry not being contacted yet are either A. He's not talking or B. They aren't negotiating...yet. or C. They aren't wasting time negotiating because they have a possible idea they are going to be taking a trade down.

Mayhew announced to the world that #1 and #20 are for sale -- Make an Offer, any Offer and we'll consider. He's not going to take anything stupid, but if a top-ten team offers their #1 and #2 this year to move up, he'd be crazy not to take it. The Lions need multiple players at almost every position, not one player for a couple of positions. This gives them much more versatility than pretty much any other team as whoever the BPA is in the two picks they get will likely help them just as much or more than the BPA from the pick they traded!

BTW - even though I talked about money being an issue -- with Curry projected to go by #4, that shouldn't be a big roadblock for the Lions.

They seriously don't know who it will be yet, and exchanging or giving an idea of initial contract proposals -- as Lewand suggested they were doing earlier -- does not technically mean "negotiating" so Curry's agent may have gotten one, and they don't consider it "negotiations" until there is a serious dialogue going.

I think the Lions are doing more shopping of the picks versus negotiating at this point as they really want to get out of the top spot. Any trade for #20 will be done on draft day, and likely have been worked out in principle beforehand based on which players are available in that slot. Last year's going rate for that spot was Low-#1 for a high to mid #2 and #3, or a #2 or 3 and next year's low #1. In the Philly trade it was, I believe, their 08 2 or 3 and this year's one.

Now that FA has died down, I'll be looking at the roster as it stands (or doesn't, in some spots) and then it'll be time to start mocking...

BTW - even if you are "late" to the stories because of your time zone (we have lots of West Coast readers, and even those serving in foreign countries to protect our great nation) please leave comments whenever you have thoughts on the story at hand, or Lions related that the story brings to mind for you. As readers, I know most of you go back and read the comments on the stories (if you don't, you have no idea what you're missing!). I also try to be sure and bring good thoughts from the comments into the main discussion for further looks (with credit given).

Thanks again everyone, and I'm looking forward to more of this exciting ifseason!!


nubs said...

Thanks fopr providing us a place to jumble all this stuff together and hash it around. It's a lot of fun, especially when logical people disect things that the media tosses out there because they are sheep.

Bubbles? Leaked, or an advance on finding out if they scored on a successful transition in marketing 101?
Curry? Smokescreen? or not talking contract?
Stafford? Bobby Lane's great grandson? or Curse buster as fate would bring him to Detroit?
The bottom line is Tom Kowalski is in California and is doing NOTHING but writing articles. The boy should be recruiting for "Lionesses" and he is wasting a perfect opportunity while in Southern California. The last article talked about the unis and how a re-design will bring the Lions good luck and better fortunes. Besides my commets (posted), I forgot to mention the importance of cheerleaders. One only needs to watch "The Replacements". A scene shows strippers iin cheerleading uniforms spanking each other as teh opposing team from (Detroit) has two delay of game penalties while Washington uses the cheerleaders to their advantage. Don't downplay it, as Lawrence Taylor used the power of women to steal a Super Bowl.

Anonymous said...

Dude you had me worried you were going to quit the blog. I don't comment much if at all on blogs but I wanted to this time. Just to let you know your posts are appreciated. You seem like a decent father and husband who just happens to be unlucky in your NFL team affiliation. I am in that same boat with you, you can take the man out of Michigan but............ ...well you know the rest. Keep up the good work DLF1979 and thanks again. IBJACKIEMOON

Isphet said...

Good stuff, Detfan. Do what you do best; don't spew the same stories that everyone else does. We don't hang here to read the same thing for the 10th time. Whether we agree with your analysis or not, it's always well thought out and worth thinking about.

CHIEFGER139 said...

but being asked to comment on churchs site where he actually does have some real pros does give you some legitimitcy, I think we like your smaller reader base and how you interact with us more, we rarely ever get that on m-live except when they have the live ask killer questions at lunch time, ive managed to ask a few decent questions and get answers there, but on your blog we get answers and responses regularly. Plus we know with you your biased towards the lions like most of us are. The jounalist arent givin that much lead way to be that way and can actually lose there jobs if they are and have to be much more careful what they write than you will have to be. I also like your little contests where we pick the draft picks, who makes the roster and of course your fantasy football, your blog is more like a friends club rather than a normal blog with all the activities and polls you always have going on plus you open up and share your self and family somewhat with us so its kind of like we know you even though we dont. I now check your site every day and probably many times more than that, just like i do m-live. I share many of your articles and other bloggers on your site with the m-live group as many bring out very good points on lions issues which many times help me to back up my points of view. I know it must be a lot of work for you, but glad you do it.

nubs said...

CHIEF is dead-nuts on. We enjoy the fact that we are LIONS fans first and can share it on this site.

BUT, if the Lions ever do win a playoff game and sniff a Superbowl-Killer would be right there in his Honolulu blue and silver Speedo saying, I've always loved these guys!"

Someone with better computer skills than I needs to photoshop that pic together, Killer in a Lions' clad Speedo. That's better than the choo-choo train crap we made up two years ago (Millen). We could say we actually have footage of Killer attempting to recruit Lionesses, and explain "That's why the Lions will never have cheerleaders!"

Mark said...

Keep up the good work. I'm so glad I found your site it helps me talk to other Lions fans. Out here in Tucson/ Sierra Vista AZ talking football in it's self is tough so to talk to a Lions fans is more difficult. Thanks again.

Ty said...


This is something that I've struggled with as well. Like you, I tend to stretch my legs when writing and am not afraid of a thousand-word blog post. Like you, I find the 24-hour news cycle absolutely dizzying, and have no idea how Sean at Pride of Detroit does it . . . the big boys at least get paid and have sources!

I think you're making the right choice, DF79, and I love your stuff. Keep it up, man, and thanks.


Anonymous said...

While this and other blogs have a readership both nationally and internationally, we've all experienced election campaigns. As the election gets closer the more the campaign advertising appears in the media. Television and radio seem to have more candidate and/or proposition advertising than regularly scheduled programming. Prior to the election I'm wishing it was already over.

And that's pretty much how I find all this predraft news/rumors stuff ... I'll be glad and thankful Monday 4/27 when the draft is complete and we know the results. There's just too much predraft publicity runup, especially for the Lions who perennially exit from any post season contention by Thanksgiving, Lions fans consider the draft our SuperBowl.

The last thing the Lions or any NFL team is going to do in the months and weeks leading up to the draft is give out any meaningful information on whom they'll draft ... the Lions have so many holes any draft choice will be an improvement to the 2008 roster, the Lions brass will rave about all the draftees trying not to tip their hand. So that leaves the media with nothing to do except gossip and rumor on what a team may or may not do come draft day.

Thousands of mock drafts, hundreds of news outlets, Lord knows how many football chatrooms ... it gets redundant, it gets opinionated, and in some cases it gets childish with kiddies trading insults back and forth.

So, what I'm saying is that I will keep reading Lions news {keep up the good work} but refrain from posting until after the draft.

I also mean how many times can I opine that the Lions draft Curry at 1 before the reader tells me to put a lid on it because they think someone else should be drafted then.

Go Lions

DetFan1979 said...

Bakerstreet - I agree that it seems insane, especially this year. Personally, I'd love to see Curry here...but I know they are attempting a trade back.

Other than that, who knows? the Answer: No One outside of Allen Park, and even they don't know yet.

What they do at 1 impacts the rest fo the draft. When you are picking in the middle of the round (like last year) it is interesting to try to dive through the smokescreens and guesstimate who will be there...

I actually LOVE the fact that we are unable to set the Lions draft board this year. In years past, they put out so much information on their draft, I could have practically looked at the list and made the same picks from home without watching the draft.

Partly, that's why I've held off on mock drafts. There is more rancor than I've seen in a long time on forums, and I'm glad it hasn't permeated here.

David M said...

I like the focus on analysis instead of news. Thats the way I choose to operate my site as well. There are services that do a fantastic job of reporting the news. Only a few sources actually do a thorough job in breaking it down.

Detfan, your question about Curry is very intriguing. It absolutely makes sense that Mayhew would have kept interest in Curry under raps (regarding contract negotiations) if they were happening.
Also, on my site ive been going through a handful of scenarios for each team and their draft situation. But even with my knowledge of the Lions being best, I have trouble narrowing down the Lions options (especially with the 20th pick). I love Curry, but i feel that I might be letting my approval of him as a person cloud my rational thinking. The argument against Curry that has the most credence seems to be that it wouldnt be smart to invest so much of our cap in three linebackers.
Nevertheless, I would still love it if the Lions picked him because he is a special player (like Hall of Fame potential) that is far better than any linebacker we can get with the 20th pick.
Also, I cant help thinking that Mayhew will be modeling his draft after Parcells and the dolphins (grabbing a tackle first).